According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tooth decay is the most common childhood disease. Tooth decay affects nearly one in seven children between the ages of 3-5 years old. Luckily, as a parent, you can easily prevent tooth decay in your children. At Shoal Creek Smiles, we are considered the best pediatric dentist in Liberty, MO. We make it a high priority to inform parents about the adverse effects of tooth decay and how to prevent decay in children.
What is Tooth Decay?
Before we talk about ways to avoid tooth decay, let’s first discuss what it actually is. When someone is experiencing tooth decay, it is commonly referred to as having cavities or caries. Tooth decay, or cavities, occurs when foods containing carbohydrates are left on the teeth, and bacteria in the mouth change these foods to produce acid. The combination of food, bacteria, and acid produces plaque that coats the teeth and ultimately begins to eat away at the tooth enamel.
Signs of Tooth Decay
There are a few warning signs that may suggest your child is developing tooth decay.
- White spots on the teeth
- Dark spots
- Visible holes in the teeth
- Tooth sensitivity when eating or drinking
- Complaints of tooth pain
- Swelling around the mouth
Pain from decaying teeth usually doesn’t occur until it reaches the tooth’s inner pulp, which is why paying attention to the above signs of decay is crucial. As a parent, you must pay attention to your child and their teeth, as they don’t always know the best ways to convey pain. For example, if your child constantly says, “this tooth is hurting,” or something along those lines, you may want to take them to see the best pediatric dentist in your area as soon as possible.
How to Prevent Tooth Decay
Children are at a high risk of developing cavities due to their relatively poor oral hygiene and high consumption of sugary foods. This is where you, as a parent, come into play to help prevent cavities from forming. Here are some simple prevention techniques:
- Supervise or assist your child in brushing their teeth, tongue, and gums with a kid-friendly toothpaste.
- Limit how much sugary snacks and beverages your child consumes in a day.
- Consider dental sealants to help protect your child’s teeth against bacteria.
- Form a relationship with the best children’s dentist office in your area and schedule routine dental cleanings for your child.
Cavities are no fun and can be extremely painful if left untreated. Fortunately, it is very easy to prevent tooth decay by practicing good oral hygiene at a young age and visiting the best pediatric dentist at least twice a year. At Shoal Creek Smiles, we pride ourselves on being the best children dentist office in Liberty, MO. If you’re looking for a safe and fun place to take your kid for dental cleanings and exams, contact our office today! Give us a call at 816-781-5437.